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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 09-17-05, 06:27 PM   #1
eric1508
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I converted my 2005 Trek 1200 road bike into a fixie and I LOVE IT!!!

Many people said it couldn't be done but, with the help of a very nice and knowledgeable bike shop owner, we were able to make some minor modifications (nothing irreversible) and come out with the gearing I wanted. And the chain has the perfect tension! I used that HTML fixie gearing chart from peak.org and came up with the options that would work. We used an IRO flip flop hub and had to add and move a few washers/spacers around to get good alignment but it worked. And not only that, the chain tension and alignment came out right on the nose. We could'nt even have gotten it any more percise if we had been working with horizontal drop-outs! I'm VERY HAPPY!! Can you tell? I'm just elated because I was able to use the frame (my 1200) that I have really grown to love. The whole setup just fits me so well that the thought of having to use a different frame just bummed me out. But this local bike shop owner said it was possible and so I gave it a shot and it worked great!
Now don't get me wrong, there were limited gearing options but it just happened that my preferred setup was one that worked. I am using the 42 on the front and a 14 on the rear. It's a little higher gear than normal on a fixie (or so it seems from my limited experience) but it gives me the ability to go prety fast but still hit most hills around town. Now sometimes I might wish it was a little lower for some of the bigger hills but then on the flats and down hills I really like it. And I figure it will just make me a stronger rider.
And I am loving how light my bike feels now! And SO clean and simple and QUIET! And effecient! I rode it for the first time as a fixie today and I found that it seemed accelerate much faster. I guess it's because EVERY bit of power is going directly to the road. Pretty Cool.
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Old 09-17-05, 08:16 PM   #2
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Here's a pic:

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Old 09-17-05, 08:22 PM   #3
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Congrats! I read your previous thread and am glad it all worked out for you.
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Old 09-17-05, 08:32 PM   #4
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why did you buy that bike new for that price and then convert to a Fixie...I would think buying maybe a Surly Steamroller or 1x1, Pista, Langster, etc, etc. It would be more effective to spend the 400 to 800 on the all ready SS then a full roadie for like 1000+ bucks!
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Old 09-17-05, 08:38 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by wasabiboys
why did you buy that bike new for that price and then convert to a Fixie...I would think buying maybe a Surly Steamroller or 1x1, Pista, Langster, etc, etc. It would be more effective to spend the 400 to 800 on the all ready SS then a full roadie for like 1000+ bucks!
Read: "Excited about SS/Fixed and have some questions. " That's the prequel to this thread.
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Old 09-18-05, 06:13 AM   #6
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Congrats! I read your previous thread and am glad it all worked out for you.
Thanks.
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Old 09-18-05, 07:58 AM   #7
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What brand chainring do you have on there? Thanks.
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Old 09-18-05, 08:06 AM   #8
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What brand chainring do you have on there? Thanks.
It's the stock Bontrager Select crankset (42 tooth). So I guess it's a Bontrager chainring.
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Old 09-18-05, 09:15 AM   #9
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Reflector police!!! Get rid of it!
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Old 09-18-05, 10:08 AM   #10
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So to get this straight, you rebuilt the same rear rim with an IRO hub? Just asking since it looks like the rims are the same front and back. Either way, it's impressive that you got it to work. Now you'll really confuse the roadies...

And yeah, definitely strip any/all reflectors off that bad boy. Otherwise we'll make fun of you.

And you might want to check your fit on the bike (with or without the help of a shop). I know you said that it fits you perfectly, but you have almost no drop between your saddle and handlebars...though you may have already investigated this and found that fit to be the best on your back, etc.
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Old 09-18-05, 10:30 AM   #11
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except for the handbars thats a really nice looking bike
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Old 09-18-05, 10:33 AM   #12
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Little to no drop can be really great. It may not be super awesome for aerodynamics and in my experience power can suffer on climbs, but it's not a bad setup for someone who just wants to spend a lot of time in the saddle.

My bikes have very little saddle-to-bar drop.

In fact, if you look at the photo, it looks like it's setup with a more conventional fit ("fistful of post") and it's fairly common for that.
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Old 09-18-05, 10:46 AM   #13
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Yeah I'm not saying it's bad or not, I'm just suggesting based on what I see in the photo.

In my experience (which is limited, to be honest), if you buy a "properly"-sized bike these days, it's on the small size for your dimensions. A smaller frame has, among other things, a smaller head tube, and so if you have the correct stem, seat post, etc., you'll generally have some drop, even if you aren't going for the mega-competitive (ultra-jam?) aero fit. If you buy a bike for touring/long distance comfort, then you size up the frame a bit, get a longer head tube (and top tube, to stretch out a bit), and there's obviously less (to no) drop.

I only suggested checking the fit out because I'm sure a lot of people don't think about those things when they first start riding - I didn't until this pain in my back surfaced after spending some long hours in the saddle this summer. Since I'm not sure what route our friend Eric here went, I just wanted to make sure he had investigated that business and can enjoy his new fixie to the max.

And trevor, we know you have little saddle-to-bar drop because you're an old geezer. It's ok. We'll all be like you some day.
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Old 09-18-05, 10:59 AM   #14
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Hmmm, brifterfixies? Do i see a new trend? Basically, I just like the word brifter. Congrats man, pedal it hard it looks great
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Old 09-18-05, 11:53 AM   #15
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Thanks for the compliments!
As far as that one lingering reflector, consider it gone. I just never got around to removing it.
As for the bike size/seat position, the main thing you'll notice is that the I have a basic angled stem that is currently angled up. This makes for a more comfortable riding position. If I flipped it the bars would drop a lot and the seat position would look more conventional. When I drop my hands down to the bottom part of the bars I end up in a nice crouched postion. Any more, though, and I would find my longer rides to be quite uncomfortable. I generally prefer to lean on the comfort side of riding position. But don't get me wrong, I can go plenty fast on it and it sure beats my mountain bike!

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Now you'll really confuse the roadies...
I actually rode this for about a month with everything stock and was starting to think about entering local races and even comparing myself to other roadies. But then I realized that what I enjoy more than anything is the ride. And a lot of the other boards on this and other bike forums have thread after thread about which derailer is better (I would know becuase I started a few ). And that's fine but if you really appreciate the basic art of a nice (a relative term) bike and a good ride, then you are wasting your time fiddling with all that extra stuff. And that's what I love about SS/Fixie is that it's all about the simple/basic bike and drive train and the joy of a nice ride on that beautiful machine and everything else that is good that comes with it (exercise, fresh air, promoting fresh air, motivation, etc...).

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except for the handbars thats a really nice looking bike
I'm pretty new to the fixie thing so I don't quite know what's wrong with my hadlebars?
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Old 09-18-05, 12:07 PM   #16
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Flip the step and try it for 2 weeks. It may not feel totally comfortable at first, but you will get used to it before long - and then you'll have the benefits of the more aggressive position. I think it looks a little ridiculous the way it is now.
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Old 09-18-05, 12:11 PM   #17
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Fit is very individual.

Usualy Ultegra/DA brifters are setup facing up and bars' bends parallel to the horizontal stem, so hoods look like horns (but uglier). Here the stem points up, the bar is tilted downward and the hoods are more flat so he has three hand postition resulting in distinct spine angles: on the flats, on the hoods and in the drops. While it might not look pretty I sort of like and for sure understand this setup.

I am runnnig very similar one on my road bike with Campy brifters, riding mostly in the hoods.
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Old 09-18-05, 12:16 PM   #18
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Nice convert. Next step: buy some aero brake levers and lose the STI shifters. You can get a nice set for $20-30.
Oh yea, and lose the rear brake also. Front brake+backpressure = all the braking you need.
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Old 09-18-05, 12:19 PM   #19
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Actually that stem looks very steeply angled - flipping it would probably be too much of a drop, so I can understand keeping it in that position.

Since I use long stems (generally 120 mm), I tend to go for flatter ones (+/- 6 degrees). When you have a stem that long, even if it's relatively flat, flipping it will move the bars 2.5 cm vertically, which is quite a bit.

But don't listen to the style police, pick (or keep) the stem length/angle that is the most comfortable for you.
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Old 09-18-05, 01:37 PM   #20
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If you want to get a better idea of the different looks just go to trekbikes.com and compare the pics of the 1200 and 1500. They have the 1200 with the stem truned down and the 1500 like I have it on my 1200. Flipping it might not be too bad and I might just try it to see the difference but I like my current setup just fine.
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Next step: buy some aero brake levers and lose the STI shifters.
What's the advantage? I like the STI handle position. Would I have to loose those to use the other brakes?

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Oh yea, and lose the rear brake also. Front brake+backpressure = all the braking you need.
The two reason's I'm keeping the rear break are: If I ever want to use a SS gear I will have the extra breaking power to go with it (I might never want SS but I won't know until I ride fixed for a while) and I'd have to take all the handlebar tape off to get the break cableing out.
But I have noticed some nice simple handlebar setups and like the idea of going ASAP (as simple as posible) so I would'nt mind some ideas or websites to find out how to better setup the bars.
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So to get this straight, you rebuilt the same rear rim with an IRO hub?
Yep. I just broke down the original wheel and took of the cassette and the re-built the wheel with the IRO flip-flop hub. It's a little bigger than the front hub but MUCH lighter than the orginal cassette! My whole bike must have dropped a good pound in weight!
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Old 09-18-05, 01:49 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by eric1508
What's the advantage? I like the STI handle position. Would I have to loose those to use the other brakes?
They are basically the same, except aero levers are only brake levers, not brake/shift levers. The whole setup will look cleaner and you will drop more weight!
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Old 09-18-05, 02:10 PM   #22
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They are basically the same, except aero levers are only brake levers, not brake/shift levers. The whole setup will look cleaner and you will drop more weight!
Gotcha.

Do you guys take the foam tape off your bars and go bear metal?
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Old 09-18-05, 02:18 PM   #23
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Do you guys take the foam tape off your bars and go bear metal?
No. Bare metal sucks and is hard on your hands. Tape rocks.
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Old 09-18-05, 02:29 PM   #24
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There's nothing wrong with using your STI levers. I wouldn't just because I'd be afraid of accidentally wrecking them and being out a couple hundred bucks. If you do decide to swap out for a set of aero brake levers, look around for the fattest hoods you can find. Shimano has really nailed the ergonomics for riding on the hoods. Cane Creek has some that aren't as nice as STI but are much better than the classic aero brakes.

As for pulling off the rear brake... Eh. Do whatever you like. If you want two brakes, ride two brakes.
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Old 09-18-05, 02:31 PM   #25
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I found some Shimano "Aero" brake levers for 49.99. Same ergonomics as my STI's, just without all the extra "stuff".
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